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Airline Travel is for Everyone
In its early days air travel was often luxurious and romantic. Passengers were given the best foods and wines and treated like royalty. They also had plenty of room to sit comfortably. As time went by and fares came down and airplanes grew bigger and faster, flying grew ever more popular, but was still mainly affordable by the wealthy. In 1978, that changed when the United States government let go of regulating air routes and fares. People in lower income brackets could suddenly fly to their destinations of choice and the airlines kept growing. Never mind that passengers began to feel like they were traveling in airborne cattle cars with no room to stretch their legs or move their elbows.
Trouble In the Skies
By the late 20th century many airlines were in serious trouble financially, and in fact profitability had been an issue since day one. Fare wars cut into revenues and fuel prices went up, as did the costs associated with feeding passengers. The terrorist attacks of 9/11 had a devastating impact on the industry. People, especially from the United States, were afraid to fly, and there were repercussions worldwide. Air travel was headed for yet another incarnation.
Today as the major carriers in the US and many overseas countries as well, try to stay aloft, the smaller point-to-point, no frills airlines such as Southwest are the only ones making a profit. Air travel across the seas is still affordable for many, as there is constant competition to grab more passengers by offering low cost flying. You’d better pack a lunch though as in-flight service is not what it once was.
With so many services available online, travelers can shop from their personal computers to find the best deals in air travel. In fact they can find packages that include hotel accommodations, ground transportation, and other perks as well. Many wonder what will happen to the big carriers. There have been 100 or more airline bankruptcies since deregulation. It’s anyone’s guess as industry leaders scramble to find the right formula for creating a profitable model that will also include good customer service. Whatever happens, people are now hooked on seeing the world and won’t give up on flying any time soon.